Archive for Shahriar Shahramian

Tektronix AFG31000 2GS/s Arbitrary Function Generator Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews the new Tektronix AFG31000 Arbitrary Function Generator. The AFG31000 series with InstaView™ technology is the first high-performance AFG with built-in waveform generation applications, patented real-time wave monitoring, and a modern user interface. The instrument is capable of 2GS/s waveform generation up to 250MHz and 14-bits of vertical resolution. This review is organized as follows:

00:08 – Introductions
01:01 – Front panel, rear panel and instrument design
03:44 – Detailed teardown, analysis, architecture and components
17:30 – GUI overview and basic functions
20:25 – Broadband FM modulation experiments
23:55 – InstaView experiments with a non-linear impedance
35:38 – Equation editor, waveform builder and advance sequencing
51:21 – Concluding remarks

Teardown, Repair & Analysis of a Rohde & Schwarz FSEK 20Hz – 40GHz Spectrum Analyzer

In this episode Shahriar takes a look at a non-functional R&S FSEK 40GHz spectrum analyzer. The instrument’s LCD screen back light no longer works and the front glass is broken. Furthermore, no testing can be done until these problems are resolved. The CCFL tube is replaced with an LED counterpart and a new front panel glass is also installed.

After power on it becomes clear that the instrument has other defects. The internal PLL is unlocked. It is observed that the OCXO module is cold and potentially not working. Examination of the LO board shows a bad inductor on the DC filter side. After this problem the instrument operates correctly but only for signals below 7GHz. After further testing it is discovered that the YIG tuned filter on the pre-selector path is not tuning at all. Eventually the fault is traced to some operational amplifiers on the YIG driver board. The repaired instrument is verified for correct operation.

Teardown, Repair & Experiment with an Agilent DCA 86100A Wide-Bandwidth Oscilloscope

In this episode Shahriar takes investigates the architecture and benefits of a precision sub-sampling wide-bandwidth oscilloscope. The teardown of the Agilent DCA instrument reveals a PC core combined with the acquisition board. The instrument without any plug-in modules does not perform any exciting tasks.

A 20GHz sampling module from eBay is available. However, the unit does not have an front connectors. New connectors are sourced from an old timing module and the sampling head is back to working condition. In order to test the unit, an Optellent OBP-04×10 4-channel pattern generator and error counter is used. The teardown of the unit reveals a simple design built around several transceiver ICs. The comparison between the sub-sampling scope and a real-time scope is also presented alongside measured results from the DCA.

Keithley DAQ6510 6.5-Digit Data Acquisition & Multimeter Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews the Keithley DAQ6510 6.5-Digit Data Acquisition & Multimeter. The instrument offers a new level of simplicity. The DAQ6510 has a touchscreen user interface that enables faster setup time, real time monitoring of test status, and detailed data analysis on the instrument. This review is organized as follows:

00:08 – Introductions
01:57 – Instrument specification and datasheet
03:06 – Unit overview & design
05:41 – DAQ6510 teardown and analysis
11:39 – Keithley 7700 acquisition module teardown
16:38 – Power on and GUI overview
18:29 – Component binning experiment with advanced triggering
28:31 – Analyzing DC-DC converter behavior at 1MS/s
32:06 – Thermal monitoring and modeling using DAQ6510
42:35 – KickStart PC software capabilities
45:43 – DAQ6510 buit-in App ecosystem
48:00 – Concluding remarks

ERASynth Micro $199 12.5MHz – 6.4GHz Portable Synthesizer Teardown, Review & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews the affordable ERASynth Micro 12.5MHz – 6.4GHz portable synthesizer with a built-in LCD screen. The USB powered instrument is fully open-source, Arduino compatible and can be operated in stand-alone mode. The system block diagram and operation of the instrument is presented.

The measurements show some of the strengths and limitations of the instrument in AM/FM modulation modes and general CW use cases.

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